IN RECENT POSTS, I’ve highlighted several points of interest—an historic water tower and auditorium and a roadside deer sculpture—in Deerwood, a small town in the central Minnesota lakes region.
But I need to include one more discovery. That’s the posting of kindness messages on several street corners. I have no idea who posted them or how long they have been in place. But I appreciate them. They gave me a really good impression of this Crow Wing County community on the Cuyuna Iron Range.
Perhaps more are displayed around town. Even if not, this trio was enough to uplift, encourage and give me pause. Now, more than ever, kindness needs promoting. That seems a bit ridiculous to even write. Kindness should come naturally. Sadly, in today’s ever divisive world, kindness is elusive to many.
So what exactly is kindness? It’s being nice. You know. Using nice words. Doing nice things. Smiling. Caring. Listening, especially listening. Putting others before yourself, eliminating the me-centered thinking which pervades too much of society.
Kindness, too, is thinking before you speak or post something mean or untrue or uncaring on social media.
Kindness is empathy and understanding and compassion. It is all that is good and lovely and wonderful.
I can’t help but think that, if we could reclaim kindness, we could overcome this pandemic. That’s simplifying the situation, of course. An article I read recently on MPR about a Texas pastor who nearly died from COVID-19 really resonates with me and fits this kindness topic. I encourage you to click here and read what Pastor Danny Reeves has to say about “what it really means to love our neighbor.” It’s a powerful story that summarizes kindness in a deeply personal way.
To the good people of Deerwood who posted these kindness signs, thank you for the positive messages. I appreciate you and your efforts.
TELL ME: If you’ve seen similar upbeat signage, please share. I’d like to hear what you’ve seen and where. Also feel free to share your definition of kindness.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling